Bulgarian railway lines to be modernized with €580 mln fund

City

Some Bulgarian trains will be able to travel at a speed of 200 km/h after €580 million ($920 million) from the EU Operative Program “Transport” is absorbed for the modernization and reconstruction of Bulgaria’s railways by 2013, local press reported Wednesday.

The news was revealed by the National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC). The funds have been allocated for the development of the railway transport in Bulgaria, which is a priority for the EU. The €580 million is 29% of the total budget of the Operative Program “Transport” for Bulgaria. This makes the NRIC the second largest beneficiary of the program after the Republic Road Infrastructure Fund, Bulgaria’s road agency.

The EU funds will be used by the NRIC to modernize four railway lines: the Sofia-Vidin Line leading to Romania through the future Dabube Bridge 2, the Plovdiv-Svilengrad Line leading to the border with Turkey, the Sofia-Plovdiv Line, and the Sofia-Pernik-Radomir Line.

Virtually no infrastructure investments have been made in the Bulgarian railways in the last 20-30 years. At most sections of the railway lines the trains presently run at no more, than 50 km/h. (Xinhua)

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